The Iron Curtain: Churchill, America, and the Origins of the Cold War

Paperback | November 1, 1990

byFraser J. Harbutt

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It was forty-two years ago that Winston Churchill made his famous speech in Fulton, Missouri, in which he popularized the phrase "Iron Curtain." This speech, according to Fraser Harbutt, set forth the basic Western ideology of the coming East-West struggle. It was also a calculated movewithin, and a dramatic public definition of, the Truman administration's concurrent turn from accommodation to confrontation with the Soviet Union. It provoked a response from Stalin that goes far to explain the advent of the Cold War a few weeks later. This book is at once a fascinating biographyof Winston Churchill as the leading protagonist of an Anglo-American political and military front against the Soviet Union and a penetrating re-examination of diplomatic relations between the United States, Great Britain, and the U.S.S.R. in the postwar years. Pointing out the Americocentric biasin most histories of this period, Harbutt shows that the Europeans played a more significant part in precipitating the Cold War than most people realize. He stresses that the same pattern of events that earlier led America belatedly into two world wars, namely the initial separation and then thesudden coming together of the European and American political arenas, appeared here as well. From the combination of biographical and structural approaches, a new historical landscape emerges. The United States appears at times to be the rather passive object of competing Soviet and Britishmaneuvers. The turning point came with the crisis of early 1946, which here receives its fullest analysis to date, when the Truman administration in a systematic but carefully veiled and still widely misunderstood reorientation of policy (in which Churchill figured prominently) led the Soviet Unioninto the political confrontation that brought on the Cold War.

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It was forty-two years ago that Winston Churchill made his famous speech in Fulton, Missouri, in which he popularized the phrase "Iron Curtain." This speech, according to Fraser Harbutt, set forth the basic Western ideology of the coming East-West struggle. It was also a calculated movewithin, and a dramatic public definition of, the...

Fraser J. Harbutt is at Emory University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 7.99 × 5.31 × 0.87 inPublished:November 1, 1990Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195054229

ISBN - 13:9780195054224

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"Harbutt's judicious and well-written account of the fateful international realignment of 1946 will surely influence profoundly our understanding of this critical period."--Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists